Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although most oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25 percent of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.
Dr. Ruocco could very well be your number one soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Statistics show in about 10 percent of patients, dentists notice a problem area even before the patient notices. During a regular dental checkup, Dr. Ruocco will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can include:
Remember to schedule regular checkups for everyone in your family. Two visits per year are recommended for general care. If, between visits, you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, contact us immediately. Together we can fight and win the battle against oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.